Effects of Nonporous Silica Nanoparticles on Human Trabecular Meshwork Cells

Martha Kim, Joo Hee Park, Hyejoong Jeong, Jinkee Hong, Choul Yong Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Precis:Silica nanoparticles (SiNPs), which are potential drug carriers for glaucoma treatment, may induce mild dose-dependent cytotoxicity but not so severe as to compromise a mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway in immortalized trabecular meshwork (TM) cells.Purpose:Nanoparticle-based ophthalmic drug delivery is a promising field of drug development. In this study, we evaluated the effect of nonporous SiNPs on human TM cells.Methods:TM cells were exposed to different concentrations (0 to 100 µg/mL) of SiNPs (50, 100, and 150 nm) for up to 48 hours. Transmission electron microscopy confirmed the intracellular distribution of SiNPs. Cellular viability assay, reactive oxygen species generation, autophagy, and activation of the mTOR pathway were evaluated. Histologic analysis of the TM structure was performed after intracameral injection of SiNPs (0.05 mL of 200 µg/mL concentration) in rabbits.Results:SiNPs were taken up by TM cells and localized in the cytoplasm. Neither nuclear entry nor mitochondrial damage was observed. SiNPs induced a mild but dose-dependent increase of lactate dehydrogenase. However, neither increase of intracellular reactive oxygen species levels nor apoptosis was observed after SiNPs exposure. Significant coactivation of autophagy and the mTOR pathway were observed with exposure to SiNPs. Aqueous plexus structure was well maintained without inflammation in rabbits after SiNPs exposure.Conclusions:SiNPs induce mild and dose-dependent cytotoxicity in TM cells. However, the toxicity level is not enough to compromise the mTOR pathway of TM cells and histologic structure of the aqueous plexus tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-202
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Glaucoma
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Feb

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by the Dongguk University Research Fund (grant no. K-2015-G0002-00016). The funder had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ophthalmology


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